Enterprise NCC-01

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by SchwEnt, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, the NX-class was the culmination of the initial NX Program. NX-Alpha, NX-Beta, and NX-Delta were supposedly all equipped with rudimentary versions of the Warp Five engine, with each one pushing the envelope towards warp five further than the last.
     
  2. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah. My theory too.
     
  3. MConrads

    MConrads Cadet Newbie

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    How about that:

    The "N" stands for naval and the "X" for the Roman number 10. That would make the NX-class the 10th naval starship class since the founding of United Earth's Starfleet.

    Regards.
     
  4. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Interesting idea. That would mean however, that every class of starship would have its own Nsomething designation. But most vessels have the NCC, which would make all of them members of Starfleet´s 200th starship class :)
     
  5. MConrads

    MConrads Cadet Newbie

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    Yea, I meant it for United Earth's Starfleet only. Once the UPF Starfleet was formed that rule did no longer apply.

    Regards.
     
  6. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Ah, ok. Would be interesting to know what registries the other Starfleet vessels of that time period (the ones briefly seen in The Expanse) had in-universe. AFAIK they didn´t put any registry numbers on the CGI models of these ships.

    Mario
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    X standing for eXperimental is nice speculation - but IMHO it's even more natural to speculate that it stands for eXploration.

    After all, Archer's ship was indicated to be Starfleet's first ship designed for deep space exploration. (Not much point building exploration vessels if they don't have engines capable of moving them outside already explored space! And "already explored space" would have expanded by a leap when Earthlings "allied" themselves with Vulcan; most of it would simply be space explored by Vulcans, too far out to be reached by humans until Henry Archer's superengine came about.) And in naval tradition, the letters before the number specify ship type, that is, the ship's intended mission, rather than its class or model.

    So, NX-01 is the first-ever Starfleet eXploration vessel, and belongs to the Enterprise class. Since there are not other eXploration vessels in existence, everybody can also refer to this as the NX class (just like everybody could call the Ticonderoga class the AEGIS class, and did, until other designs also got equipped with AEGIS). At some point, further exploration ship classes are no doubt designed, and it would become confusing to refer to all of them as "the NX class", so Starfleet (and later UFP Starfleet) reverts to speaking of the Enterprise class and its successors...

    ...Thereby perhaps explaining why the UFP Starfleet never has seen it fit to build an Enterprise class of starships. The name has already been used up!

    Why the pennant letters would cease to specify ship type at that point, and would start only denoting the ship's operating organization (NCC=Starfleet ship), we don't know yet. But apparently the model switches from "Earth naval" to "Earth aeronautical", where the letter prefix indeed indicates nationality.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Early ships seemed to use mostly letter designations for class. For example, we have freighter classes like DY, Y, J, etc. And of course NX. In this time frame NX is just a class name, it has nothing to do with whether a ship is experimental or not.
     
  9. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    @ Timo
    @ Mr. Laser Beam

    If the "X" does indeed NOT stand for "eXperimental" but for something the two of you suggest, then how do you explain the NX-Alpha and NX-Beta from First Flight?
    (See my post #18 in this thread.)
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    For those who care about the novels....

    Rise Of The Federation: A Choice Of Futures was released two weeks ago, and one of the ships is the Endevaour, commanded by T'Pol. She used to be NX-06, but after her refit into the design Doug Drexler made for a refit NX-class, she was re-christened NCC-06, and the class was called Columbia-class, in honour of the Columbia NX-02.

    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/USS_Endeavour_(NX-06)
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Why should those need explaining? They are not registries - they are frivolous callsigns for test rigs, and more specifically for test rigs involved in the project aiming at creating Earth's first eXplorer vessel. They are rather analogous to the AS missions 201 through 278 performed or planned for testing the Apollo Saturn moon shot spacecraft, even though none of those involved the actual final Apollo and Saturn V stack. Or to the various subscale spacecraft flown today in preparation for hoped-for full-scale versions, and often named after the intended end product of the process.

    That the NX-Alpha and NX-Beta exist is actually good indication that NX is not a generic registry prefix slapped on every experimental vessel out there, but a unique project that will culminate in the first-ever NX class of starships, namely the Enterprise class. Otherwise, a name like "NX-Alpha" would already have been "used up" in the dozens of starship projects that apparently preceded the Enterprise.

    As for redesignating NX class ships as NCC class ships in the novels, this makes good sense, because the vessels cease to be eXploration vessels in the novelverse. Instead, they become Combat Cruisers. :devil: :vulcan: :devil:

    It is apparently only some time after this point in history that NCC ceases to be a classic naval pennant code and becomes an aeronautics-style national identifier applying to all starships regardless of type... But at that point, NX in turn indeed becomes an indicator of experimental status, deriving from a different branch of aeronautics. That is, NCC seems to be akin to the N prefix of the registry of civilian aircraft in the United States (or G in Great Britain, or OH in Finland, just to name a few and to emphasize that the letter need not obviously derive from the actual name of the operator). NX in turn seems to derive from the X prefix-extension of the type identifier number of military aircraft (although USAF actually uses Y for prototypes nowadays, and X is reserved for the sort of planes that will never see any production). It's very confusing - but it's healthy to realize that these prefix letters cannot be plausibly be argued to be exactly analogous to any single registration or identification system in use on Earth today or in the recent past. The usage is a funny mixture no matter what.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    That is just your opinion. It does not prove in any way, that the "X" stands for eXploration rather than eXperiment.

    Which is what I already said in my post #18 of this thread :)
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    There's nothing in the episode or the context to liken the apparent callsigns to any registry scheme we have ever heard of. If they do represent some completely novel scheme, then we can ignore them all the more confidently, as this scheme doesn't overlap with the ones on screen.

    Exploration is specific, experimentation is generic. There is only one exploration project in Starfleet, but all its projects supposedly start out experimental. The existence of an "NeXperimental Alpha" so late in the game thus doesn't make sense, but the existence of "NeXploration Alpha" does.

    Or, more generally, NX cannot be something that would have been applied on any Starfleet vessel or project before Henry Archer's supership, otherwise NX-Alpha would have been "used up" already.

    So there's nothing to prove that X is for eXploration, but plenty to prove it doesn't stand for eXperimentation - and out of the options remaining, eXploration makes immense sense.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    This was the United Earth Starfleet, not the Federation Starfleet -- it should no more be expected to use the same nomenclature than one should expect the Massachusetts State Navy to use that of the United States Navy, or than one would expect the Royal Scots Navy to use that of the U.K. Royal Navy.

    I would have liked an entirely different registry setup. Maybe "SWF" for "Space Warp Five," to designate that she has an entirely different engine than earlier Earth ships, the same way the Navy uses "CVN" to denote nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

    I also would have preferred a different prefix rather than no prefix: "UES" for "United Earth Starship." So in the world according to Sci, maybe it would have been the UES Enterprise SWF-01.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'm happy to think in my own perverseverse that the N there stands for the Novel drive system, much like it in USN pennant code stands for a modern propulsion system... ;)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Quite. I'm guessing that Starfleet knew all along it was eventually going to have this brand new NX class. That was what they were building up to, so to speak. So the test vehicles intended to prove that its engines could work, were called NX-Alpha and NX-Beta, because they were always intended to "lead" to the NX class.

    It'd be like (a few decades down the line) the UFP Starfleet deciding to produce prototypes called "Constitution-Alpha" and "Constitution-Beta" to test the engines that would one day be used on the class which they were already planning. That is literally the only meaning the 'alpha' and 'beta' designations have here. And there is zero proof to the contrary. ;)

    And I do like the 'U.E.S.' designation for Earth Starfleet ships (though I think NCC sounds better as a registry prefix). I always wondered why Earth Starfleet vessels had no prefix - just the name.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I actually think the first U there does stand for "United Earth" in Archer's time, whereas in Kirk's ship it stands for "United Federation of Planets". It's just that both the S'es also have a raison d'etre: the first is "Star Fleet" and the second is "Star Ship". UESFSS would be a mouthful, let alone UFPSFSS, so the shorter forms get used.

    (In Season Four, didn't we get some display graphics showing "USS Enterprise" despite there never being extra letters in the actual pennants?)

    As for the "NX-Alpha"/"Constitution-Alpha" thing, it's a bit unsatisfactory in this respect that the great project actually usually gets called the Warp Five Engine Project rather than the NX Project. I mean, it makes excellent sense that the test rigs would exist solely to test the engine, while the greater project would involve lots of other testing and the warp rigs we see would actually just produce the generic engine that could then be applied on just about any ship class. But for some reason, the test rig still gets called NX-Alpha, rather than something more logical like Archer-Alpha or WF-Alpha...

    Since the very concept of an exploration starship was so unique at the time, though, I'm willing to believe the engineers would see even the components of the project in terms of the end product starship. It might be too much to start believing in a general revolution of starflight; the Warp Five Engine might live or die with the exploration starship project, regardless of whether the engine was a success or not. Rather than jinx the general revolution, the propeller-heads thus only speak of the NX project specifically.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Out-universe, I assume it was Braga and Berman wanting to find a way to set the NX-01 apart from the Federation Enterprises.

    In-universe, I suppose it's akin to the fact that, for instance, the U.S. space shuttle orbiters never had any sort of prefixes. It was just the Space Shuttle Atlantis, not the USSS Atlantis.

    For my money, Federation starships ought to have either the prefix "UFS" for "United Federation Starship," or "FS," for "Federation Starship." (Or maybe "FSS," for "Federation Star-Ship," if we decide we like three letters over two but don't want to use the phrase "United Federation.")

    A graphic in "Affliction" showing Columbia's matching Enterprise's runaway warp run called them "USS Enterprise" and "USS Columbia." IIRC, someone from the ENT Art Department said this was a mistake made in the rush of production.
     
  19. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I also like the prefix UFS for Federation military vessels. I'm just guessing that the reason they use USS is because the show started so long ago, and viewers at that time would be confused if a ship had anything other than a USS prefix - which is what they expected to see.

    If Abrams Trek was the only Trek that ever existed, and it really was starting from scratch right now, they probably would use UFS.
     
  20. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    :wtf: So basically what you´re saying is, that it can´t be eXperiment because there have been numerous other experimental designs before but has to be eXploration because ... Starfleet hasn´t done any exploring before??

    Space exploration has been going on since the 1960s and I´m sure, that the first "true" spaceships as well es the first warp capable ships have also been used mainly for exploration. So the NX would also have been "used up" already if it stood for eXploration!
    To call the NX project the first and only exploration project is purely conjectural, we don´t know if that´s true. What we do know however is, that it was about creating the first Warp 5 engine. That was the one and most important goal - not to create the first exploration vessel. There have been plenty of those before.

    Mario
     

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